The internet is a wonderful thing. Much of the worlds knowledge at our fingertips. Blogs and online hangouts a plenty. It is wide open spaces for anyone with a desire to learn or explore. The information age is great.
The misinformation age though not so much.
I just recently encounted an avid flat earther who is also very religious, probably a YEC. And very much a crank. What is a crank? My definition would be someone who holds very firm opposing belief in areas where the evidence/understanding of the topic at hand is pretty much settled. They hang on to these beliefs despite the tons of evidence that shows they are mistaken. Often they will become highly agitated, aggressive, and relentless in their attacks on anyone holding a more rational view. And they will never ever admit any possibility they could be in error. They cling to these erroneous beliefs like a dog with a ham bone and will snap at anyone that gets close. There are lots of topics available for your friendly neighborhood crank to take up, but I will focus on the flat earth today.
The flat earth claim is a non starter for most of us. We already have a good understanding of the spherical shape of our planet based on many areas of study and evidence galore supporting the fact our earth is a sphere. Now the crank will handily dismiss this evidence. They will proclaim we have bought into the BIG LIE, we have been duped, deceived, NASA is in on the coverup! Only they (the crank) know the truth!
Now I encounterd my crank on Nans blog, (hi Nan!) and I made no attempt to hide the fact I was incredulous to their claims. They latched onto me like a dog with a ham bone and have been leaving me some interesting posts (if you are into the pathology of a crank) on my blog. I put them in the trash where they belong, but will reproduce them here as an example of crankism. Here we go:
“Evidence based shell? What do you know about EVIDENCE?
Perhaps you have SEEN evidence that the earth walked a quarter mile to pick up a can of tuna………oh wait, you HEARD……………by others who ASSUMED………….who heard by others who SUPPOSED………..who agreed with others who ‘did the math……………….’ who pretended to ASSERT………that your so-called ball spins @ 1,040 mph, orbiting at an alleged 67,000 mph…………
………while not person has ONE drop of EVIDENCE…….but a thousand THEORIES……………that the earth is guilty of the highest crime.
You crack me up. Evidence. A man who disavows the Creator, pretending to speak of Design…………
Your so called evidence is about as useless as a dictionary without words.
Gotta love the immoveable foundations of the earth, founded upon the floods………….as sure as true science testifies, and as sure as the good book so eloquently says.” (end of comment)
First note the overuse of the caps and the extended ellipses. Now let’s look at the assertions. First an insult to get started, since my blog is titled Evidence Based Reality, what would I know of evidence? Then this: “Perhaps you have SEEN evidence that the earth walked a quarter mile to pick up a can of tuna” I have to admit I don’t even know where this nonsensical claim came from, I probably don’t want to know. When it comes to the mind of a crank you probably do not want to delve deeper by asking questions 🙂
Next we get to the heart of the matter, that the rotation of the earth on its axis at 1040 mph, and its trajectory around the sun, which is roughly moving on that trajectory at 67,000 mph, is all the BIG LIE!
Then let’s with a sweep of the hand, dismiss all of the good scientific evidence we have for a spherical earth with this: “while not person has ONE drop of EVIDENCE…….but a thousand THEORIES……………that the earth is guilty of the highest crime.” Evidence is meaningless to a crank that has all of the answers don’t ya know?
Now this: “You crack me up. Evidence. A man who disavows the Creator, pretending to speak of Design” Again this one seems to be out in left field, as I do not speak of design, though I am an atheist. So we can give them a half right here.
Again a quick dismissal of the evidence with the hand wave: “Your so called evidence is about as useless as a dictionary without words.”
Finally a biblical reference with this: “Gotta love the immoveable foundations of the earth, founded upon the floods” I think when you start with the premise that your magic book is the end all be all source of facts, you have a flawed premise. One that requires the bending of reality to fit your preconceptions. I would posit that this behavior might be a key point, at the very core, of the emergence of a crank.
Now this: “as sure as true science testifies” Please note the assertion of the true science, but none forthcoming. Cranks have all of the true science, they just never have any to show you.
Now here is the other post retrieved from the trash, for your perusal:
Congrats digs. You have entered the realms of the hypocritical. You post about an alleged ‘globe,’ (global warming haha) then accuse someone of ‘derailing’ your post because you cannot with a straight face answer the criminal charges made by yourself.
Congrats. All atheists everywhere should be proud. Next stop: more shallow name calling, baseless nitwit comments, and a complete ignoring of what lies stare you in the face. Way to go, but its ok, I have ten thousand atheist clocks /i have cleaned in my basement, don’t need another rusty and broken one of yours. lol (end comment)
More of the same really. Insults, projection, the Big Lie, nonsensical claims of criminal charges, and finally a gross overestimation of their prowess. The hallmark of the crank. Note I did not name my crank. Most of you know who it is, I personally refuse to allow them any notoriety here. Although I don’t mind if it comes up in the comments.